Founder & CEO | Birth & Postpartum Doula | Childbirth Educator | Placenta Encapsulator | Birth/Midwife's Assistant | Reiki Master
I can't remember a time when I was not passionate about family issues, and particularly family health. I had my first child at a young age, and found the perinatal landscape entirely bewildering. Mostly alone, I had no idea what was happening to me and my baby, or how to provide for him once he was born (and later, when he was quite sick). The experience strengthened my desire to support others who find themselves similarly lost at the hands of an impersonal medical institution.
I am committed to helping families access evidence-based information for informed decision-making, and to helping improve the birth experience for all families. I serve families of all types, and I specialize in trauma-informed care, bereavement support, disability advocacy, and neurodivergence, Additionally, I am conversant in Spanish, French, and American Sign Language (ASL).
The journey into familyhood should be a time of joy, love, and familial and community support. I founded Family Ways with the intention to help bring such an experience to any individual and family who wants and needs it, and to strengthen the family bond—no matter what shape the family takes. I am honored to have been able to share in the lives of so many beautiful families, if for just this one crucial moment.
Family Ways LLC
Dept. of Homeland Security
As the founder of Family Ways, I lead our dynamic team, support families as a birth doula (and occasionally in postpartum), teach childbirth classes, offer lactation support, and perform community outreach and advocacy.
I started as a doula supporting a dear friend and single-mom-by-choice who was planning for her first birth on her own. From there, I served her friends, and their friends, and so on... until I decided to establish the Family Ways team.
I worked for the Federal government as a writer/editor, management & program analyst, and eventually the agency's Records Officer. This work spoke to my nerdiness but not my passions; I left to doula full-time
Certified Postpartum Doula
Certified Maternal Child Community Health Worker
Commonsense Childbirth Institute
Certified Lactation Educator [lifetime certification]
Commonsense Childbirth Institute
Certified Evidence Based Birth® Instructor [renewed annually - present]
Evidence Based Birth
Training: "When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Trauma and Sexual Abuse on the Childbearing Woman"
End-of-Life Doula Training
International End-of-Life Doula Association (INELDA)
Birth/Midwife's Assistant Training
Training: "Rebozo Connection"
The Gena Kirby Method
Certified Birth Doula [renewed 2017, 2020, 2023]
Certified Bradley® Instructor [renewed annually - present]
American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth
Arné S., Germantown MD
"There aren't enough words to describe the unforgettable fantastic experience that I had with Rachel!! [...] She was great with involving my fiancé and was not overwhelming with her presence; she leaves room for your partner and family to enjoy the experience as well."
Leila B., Arlington VA
"While I eventually underwent a caesarean birth, Rachel's support was even more important in this situation... such a deviation from our planned birth needed someone with the experience and compassion of Rachel."
Elana M., Washington DC
"Choosing Rachel to be our doula was the single best decision my husband and I made in preparation for the birth of our first child…. she brought so much knowledge, support, and, above all, positivity."